Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sweet Gracie and a visit with old friends

Natalie & Alyson getting in some Gracie time.

The girls and I ventured to Brandon, MS today to meet Miss Gracie. She was 4 weeks old yesterday and we had not had a chance to meet her yet and we were itching to do so. Suzan and I have been friends since we were Natalie's age so she is like a sister to me. Our friendship has been one that, no matter how long we go without seeing one another, we can always pick right up like we were together yesterday. One is very blessed to have such a friendship.

Both girls managed to get plenty of hands on time today. Poor Gracie. Mom may not be too happy with us later ;)
Not only did we get to see Gracie and Suz, another long time friend that I have not seen in many years was home for the holiday's and came over to Suzan's with her two children and dad to visit. Jen lives in Pennsylvania now so visits with her are few and far between. It was so good to see her and meet her children.
Kristi, Suzan Watson w/ Gracie and Jen (Searls) Arciere
Natalie, Kristi & Alyson Jadzinski; Suzan & Gracie Watson; Andrew, Jen & Julia Arciere

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

As we wrap up yet another Christmas season, here are a few pictures of some of our family time. Although Christmas was different this year as everyone was scattered and budgets were a little tighter, I think everyone had a great time and no one should have walked away disappointed. After all is said and done, we still remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Mimi and her girls
The girls enjoyed a boxing match with Daddy and Pops

Santa's helpers!

Both girls received some long asked for gifts.

Somehow, Santa got a message that the girls had been pretty good this year?!? Not sure how that happened ;)
My parents came through Christmas afternoon on their way home from Debbie's Dad's house in Grand Bay, AL and ate dinner with us. It was a nice and relaxing afternoon that I think we all enjoyed. Paw-paw and Aly were hanging out in the living room and I think he put some sort of spell on her!
Some just couldn't hang!

Judy Lynn topped off the girls holiday with another surprise visit Saturday. As usual, they were not disappointed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

House for Sale (Not ours ;) )

I promised my sister some time ago that I would do this and honestly, I have just forgotten. She and her husband, Travis, recently built and moved in to a beautiful new home. Unfortunately, they have not sold their other house. They have set up a blog with pictures and some information on the house. The house is in Tupelo, MS in the Belden community. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please pass this info along to them.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hibachi Hysterics

My brother and sister in law, Keith and Nicole, came down to Meridian yesterday afternoon to visit and hang out with us for a little while. We decided to take them to a new Hibachi grill (a japanese restaurant where they cook your food in front of you and throw some tricks in the mix) for supper. Frankie and I had been to one several years ago and really enjoyed it but Keith, Nicole and the girls had never been to one. We thought they might enjoy the experience and figured the girls would get a kick out of the entertainment ~WRONG! They saw the fire on a grill at another table right after we were seated and that was the end of their Hibachi experience.They stood behind their chairs or against the wall trembling the majority of the time and didn't eat a bite of food. Oh well, I guess we will stick to Chick-fil-a or Wendy's for future family meals.

Patrick Family Christmas

So many things have changed this year so I guess we shouldn't have been surprised that Christmas joined the list. Everyone is a little more scattered this year with different directions to go. In the past, the Patrick's have always celebrated Christmas on Christmas day at Pap-paw and Nana's house but this year we mixed things up a little. We always have a family dinner the week before Christmas at my sisters house in Tupelo. This year was no exception and we decided to make the most of it. Kerri and Travis graciously hosted the family and we had a wonderful meal followed by our gift exchange. We all had a great time and enjoyed watching the kids. Keith brought along his guitar and we enjoyed singing and being seranaded with carols.
Harrison and Hailey loved their new bean bags from Pap-paw and Nana.
Natalie got some new books - the more chapters the better is her philosophy (for now anyway).
Alyson got a new puzzle that she mastered in no time. We are developing a mini library of puzzles and Aly couldn't be happier. The more to choose from the better.
The girls crawled up in Pap-paw's lap and with Uncle Keith on the guitar, sang a carol for us. As Kerri said when it was over, "OK, someone go get a mop and wipe Pap-paw up off the floor."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today's Quote

"I slobbered when I bless-you'd" ~ Aly
*see comment for explanation*

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas through a child's eye is so refreshing and does so much to remind us of the real meaning of Christmas.
I was upstairs working today when I heard Alyson singing downstairs. This is not an unusual thing but I thought I would take a peak anyway. She had her Little People's nativity set out and had arranged it (if you look closely, she has everything/everyone surrounding baby Jesus) and was sitting over it singing "Away in a Manger". I was attempting to video it but she caught me and got her feathers ruffled. So much for the sweet and innocent moment.
After a while, she settled down and agreed to a repeat performance and even though it was a re-creation and despite a stuffy nose, it was still just as sweet.
Hope you enjoy!
Despite all the sales, advertising, decorations, etc. that inundate us from early fall till Christmas, I never feel like the Christmas season really gets going until we have attended our first Christmas party. Well, we were on the ball this weekend. We knocked all of them out in 2 days! How about that for efficiency? Of course, it was only 2 parties this year so I don't guess it was that huge of an accomplishment ;). We had our Sunday School party Friday night and had a great time. We played dirty Santa and we didn't come out too bad (because there were some really bad gifts there - for me, the worst had to be doe urine which was one of the most fought over gifts ?!?!) Anyway, the girls were surprised when their babysitter arrived and it was their beloved Judy Lynn. She came down from Starkville to keep the girls and spend the night with us. The girls really had a good time and were treated to making s'mores and building a chair/blanket tent in the living room. Judy's sister Michelle met them at the mall Saturday and they squeezed in a little shopping before heading back to Columbus.
We had Frankie's work party Saturday night and the food was so good. I made a meal out of the appetizers (which are my weakness) and then ate the equivalent of another 2 meals with the salad and main course. The few pounds I have lost since moving were quickly found! They always give away great door prizes at the party and this time was no exception. Two of the most anticipated prizes were a giant Santa and Snowman figurine. They were so cute. I didn't get my hopes up about winning anything because we never do. They were down to the last door prize so I knew our chances were about nil at that point. Of course, the next number called was not ours - but that person wasn't there. HA! The next one actually turned out to be ours! It took us a moment to claim it because we were sure we had heard them wrong. We won the snowman figurine and he is so cute!

He is standing in front of the Christmas tree and you can see the train in the background so that gives you an idea of his size (about 3 ft tall). I love him!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Our Plump Tree!

Ignore the title friends~that is somewhat of an inside joke that only my family will understand ;).

Well as you can tell by the pictures~this was decoration weekend at our house. I absolutely love the house when it is decorated for Christmas with all the lights and smells. I absolutely hate having to do it all! It's a tough job under the best of circumstances but when you have 4 very opinionated (and at times grouchy) folks working towards the same goal, it can become a bit of a struggle.

We started our day with a visit to Lazy Acres Christmas Tree farm in Chunky, MS. Don't blink or you might miss it. This was a really neat place. They had sprawling fields of various types of trees to choose from which they took you out to in a sleigh (tractor drawn). They also had several other stationary attractions to draw your attention. The girls enjoyed checking those out.
Natalie worshiping the baby Jesus and Alyson as the donkey~no comment;)Other features included an animal pen that had goats, rabbits, a turkey, dogs, pigs and a real reindeer 'Dasher'. This 'Dasher' has a lot of conditioning to do if he is going to be ready to pull Santa's sleigh in a couple of weeks! It didn't take us to long to find the perfect tree for us. After a little sweat and grunting, a very out of breath Frankie had the tree down and ready to load on to the sleigh. After a couple of other brief errands in town to finish collecting our decorating supplies, we headed to the house to face the challange ahead of us. It took us the remainder of the afternoon, evening (with a break for supper and the local Christmas parade) and this afternoon to finally get it all done. Whew! Now we can actually sit back and enjoy the beauty of it all.P.S. - Dad, this is the plumpest tree I have ever had ~ and I LOVE it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

After a raid in Daddy's closet!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Results

Here are the final results of our ornament venture. Most of the paint and marker stayed on the ornaments, with the exception of Harrison. We think he mistook his face as an ornament at one point. If you are brave enough to attempt this with your children (which I highly recommend), here is the recipe to use:

1 2/3+ cups warm water

1 cup salt

4 cups all purpose flour (not self rising)

Combine water and salt, stirring until salt is desolved. Add flour. Move dough mixture to a firm surface. The dough will be very stiff. Knead dough until all ingredients appear to be well mixed and smooth (this take a fair amount of endurance ;) ), then knead it some more. On wax paper, roll dough out using a rolling pin until dough is smooth and no more than 1/4 inch thick. Cut your favorite shapes. Use a the end of a straw to cut a circle in the top of the ornament to put a ribbon or string through. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Flip ornaments 10-15 minutes into baking. Bake the same amount of time on each side. Allow to cool on flat surface. Once cool, decorate with paint.

Dough Ornaments

This was a first for us - making dough ornaments. As crafty as I am (or least told I am), I am not very creative. The girls and I have been in Tupelo since Monday enjoying a little time off from school, a little R&R (as much as you can get with 4 kids in the house) and just getting in a little family time. One of Kerri's friends, JoLynn, graciously invited ALL of us over to join her and her 2 children to make dough ornaments. It was a house full to say the least. This was also a learning experience for all of us as well, but a very fun one. It took a couple of attempts to figure out the specifics to get the dough just right. We got a lot of laughs out of that. We hope to get them painted later today and ready for the Christmas tree. Here are a few pictures from our venture.

Sarah (JoLynn's daughter), Alyson, Kristi and Natalie cutting our first ornaments ...

a few kink's to work out as our first batch appeared to have a bad case of cellulite

Alyson working her dough...it had to be the smoothest with all the elbow grease she put in to it!
Natalie's own unique creation...??? Don't know that this one will make it to the tree. We may hang on to this one for Halloween next year ;)
Hailey and Harrison weren't in to the spirit of things just yet...

...however, mom was able to coax them into at least cutting one ornament each.

Thank you JoLynn for a memory making day!


Happy Thanksgiving to you! I know I am a day early (a rarity to most who know me) but I know tomorrow morning will be a busy one so I didn't want to miss the opportunity to go ahead and get it out there. I encourage you to take a moment and take note of how fortunate we are and thank the One who is responsible for that. I know we all have our moments when we think nothing in our life is going right and we have it so hard. Truth is, we have it so good. If I was really serious about it and sat down and tried to make a list of all I have to be thankful for, there wouldn't be a book big enough to hold it. Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Pictures

Well, I have been chastised for falling behind on my posting so I will do my best to catch you up.

I am so relieved to say that we accomplished one major task for the holiday season - Christmas card pictures. For those of you who take your self to the brink of insanity to do the same, you know exactly what I am talking about. Who would think (unless you have small children) that it could require insurmountable patience along with over 150 pictures to get just the right one (hopefully). However, I must brag tremendously on my children this year - they were real troopers and cooperated beautifully. Mind you, I had given them a lecture, threatened them and I am sure I had a ruler (for spanking) somewhere in the van. I can also attribute the successful day to help from my parents. They came down and brought lunch and spent the afternoon with us, which included a trip to the local park for the pictures. Debbie brought her camera so we basically double teamed them and it all went very smoothly.

It even enabled us to get a few family pictures in.
A great picture of Frankie and the girls.

We also got a few candid/action shots.
"Trouble" is on the way!